Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Good News... It's Preventable

This from Dr. Mercola's newsletter...

The Good News: Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer Are All Preventable

Nearly one in five US deaths is associated with obesity, and one in every three deaths is attributed to cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and stroke. According to a 2013 report25 from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 800,000 cardiovascular disease deaths occurring in the US each year, a quarter of them —or about 200,000—could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes.

Personally, I believe the rate of prevention could be far higher than that—especially if great attention was paid to sugar/fructose consumption and elimination of insulin resistance.

According to statistics found in the Credit Suisse Research Institute's 2013 study26 Sugar Consumption at a Crossroads, up to 40 percent of US healthcare expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar. We actually spend more than a trillion dollars each year fighting the damaging health effects of sugar!

To protect your health, please consider restricting your fructose consumption to 25 grams per day or less. If you're overweight or have a disease such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease (or are at high risk for them) then you're probably better off further reducing your fructose intake to 15 grams per day or less (and this includes all sources—HFCS, sugar, honey, agave, fruit, fruit juice, maple syrup, etc.)

Doing this will help you normalize your insulin- and leptin levels, thereby reducing your risk of not only diabetes and heart disease, but also a long list of other chronic health problems.

Key to success when cutting out added sugar is to replace the lost calories (energy) with high quality healthy fat, which includes avocados; butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk; raw dairy; organic pastured egg yolks; coconuts and coconut oil; unheated organic nut oils; raw nuts and seeds; and grass-fed and finished meats.

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer—all of these issues tend to be feared by most people. But the solution—the most effective prevention—is within your own control. Reverse the amount of sugar to healthy fats in your diet (less sugar/non-vegetable carbs, more fat), and you'll see your risk factors start fading away.

Go here for the complete article: "Obesity Will Soon Overtake Smoking as Principal Cause of Cancer",
July 27, 2015, www.mercola.com

"Chronic Diseases: The Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the United States", CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

More on your LIFE.2 at www.encoreboomer.com.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Did you hear the one about the millionaire rescuer?

This is no joke. It’s a true story about a man, his wife and daughter, who decided to help save some of the thousands of people who are fleeing hell-on-earth in North Africa for their dream of freedom in Europe.

Nearly 2,000 refugees have drown in the Mediterranean making their way to freedom, fleeing oppression, rape and torture, just trying to get to a safer place in Europe. The European powers have rescued nearly 50,000.

Still they keep coming…risking everything including their lives… hoping, praying… for a better life… somewhere, anywhere.

Working with the Italian, British, German, Maltese, and Swedish navies, as well as Doctors without Borders,
Christopher Catrambone, his wife and daughter, financed and helped crew a dedicated rescue vessel to help bring some of the refugees to safety.

“Whatever the future holds, nothing can change the fact that the Catrambones – initially self-financed, freelance operators – have set both a precedent and, having never lost a life, a standard. Those who care about migrants drowning, Catrambone insists, no longer have to wait for governments to act. They can turn, instead, to The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (Moas) or other NGOs. He had already told me that if the family business ever went down, he and Regina would have no regrets about spending so much time and money on Moas. “A lot of people say: ‘Oh, look at the millionaires! They’ve spent a lot of money’,” he said. “I’ve invested my life into this and my family has invested our savings. This is important for us and we believe in it. And you know what, if I am poor one day and I’m out in the street, well so be it. But we did this. And we are proud of it. I will never take anything back.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

Where Did the Greek EU “Bridge Loan” Go?

While on my way back home I was listening to NPR early this morning. 

The newscast lead… “Greek Banks Reopen”. That’s good news, I thought.

I checked the story online a little later…This from the Guardian’s Jennifer Rankin:

“The Greek money merry-go-round carries on in full swing as Athens received a €7.2bn (£5bn) loan from the EU and immediately spent almost all of it on repaying debts.”

“Greek officials confirmed on Monday they had begun paying back international lenders, not long after the emergency bridging loan arrived in the Greek government’s bank account.”

“The EU agreed to the loan on Friday to enable Athens to meet urgent debt repayments and clear arrears, both necessary hurdles if the Greek government is to get a three-year bailout worth up to €86bn.”

“Greece’s bank branches are open for the first time in three weeks, but capital controls still stop people from withdrawing more than €420/week ($456).” (1.)

I found this headline while checking one of the enewsletters which I receive:

"The recent terms require a reduction in pension benefits to less that $96 /mo. for Greek pensioners."

“Mr. George Romanias, Greek Secretary General on Social Services, has said today, speaking to the Greek MEGA TV station:

“Ι cannot stay in the Ministry. I won't to apply some principles. I cannot do the opposite,” Mr Romanias said, adding that he will submit his resignation by tomorrow morning. “I cannot apply the law they oblige me to introduce. It is not possible to give a monthly pension of 87 Euros ($94) to a handicapped person. This is what was put in law.”

Speaking about the law introduced with express procedures, upon insistence of the Creditors, including all European governments and the Commission, he said “it is the first time in my life that I see a project of law written with such illiteracy, such amateurism and such ignorance… The Prime Minister was blackmailed, that is sure, but I cannot apply a law I don’t agree with and about which I was not asked”. (2.)

Is it just me, or do you, too, see the insanity of this transaction? The banksters create the "money" from nothing, then impose heinous conditions upon those least able to defend themselves so that they can extract the "money" back... all in a few hours time.. with even more interest added on.

I'm becoming "mad as hell!" How about you?

1. “Greek debt crisis: Greece begins repaying ECB and IMF as banks reopen – live”, the Guardian, 20 July 2015.

2. “Wealthy Germans Forced Pensions of Poor Greeks Down to $94 monthly”, Paul Craig Roberts, 19 July 2015. Institute for Political Economy, Retrieved 20 July 2015.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Movement

An Antidote for Our Corporate Controlled World
How we meet the challenge of the new corporate-controlled world or surrender to it will define the very nature of the world for our children and grandchildren. It is a war in which we may chose to participate or ignore.

The world in which we live is not the same one in which our parents and grandparents enjoyed. It’s not even close. 
  • First, the United States has devolved into an oligarchy (1.) more similar to a Fascist empire than a representative democracy.
  • Today we are living in a world in which the ruling elite, that is less than one percent of the world population, holds more wealth than the entire remaining seven billion people who inhabit it. (2.)
  • Worse, worldwide, our government representatives have sold us out by agreeing to give the global banks and corporations power to overrule federal, state and local laws via the pending, secret, trade treaties, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). (3.) 

Contrary to the ruling majority Supreme Court justices, most humans intuitively know that corporations are not human beings. In fact, corporations have no soul. Surprised? I didn’t think so. Interestingly, it’s only been since the rise of the Robber Barons following the American Civil War that corporations became the chosen means for pillaging public assets and Robber Barons' immunity shields.

Today, driven by their insatiable desire for profit and control, the great grandchildren of the Robber Barons' corporations, the global corporations / banks of today, will be empowered to dissolve our natural rights - the birthright of every person on this planet: the right to life, liberty and happiness via the TPP agreement and others like it.

Explains Sen. Bernie Sanders, “Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system. If TPP was such a good deal for America, the administration should have the courage to show the American people exactly what is in this deal, instead of keeping the content of the TPP a secret.” 

The Movement
What can we do to stop the dismemberment of our natural rights?

We can not expect support from our government representatives because they only respond to the desires of the oligarchy, as the Gilens/Fulcher study underscores. (Please see Resource 1 below.). And, even if they did, we still face the enormous Oz-like omnipotent global corporations / banks.

That said, ultimately, with the intrinsic power of seven billion human beings alone, we have the inherent, herculean strength to transform our world economic system from predatory capitalism into a new, humane one. 

How would a new economic system look?
Pope Francis recently described the new economic system as a system which does not "sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit”, but ensures the poor the "sacred rights of labor, lodging and land”. (4.)

Dr. Benjamin R. Barber: “The revolution has started. In 1776, the American colonists protested that the English monarch no longer exercised sovereignty on behalf of their lives, liberties and estates, that in effect English sovereignty was in default. Today, the cities of the world, where more than half the world's population lives, and where 80 percent of its wealth is generated, are protesting that the nations to which they are subsidiary no longer are able to guarantee their long-term sustainability in the face of climate change, nuclear proliferation, global disease and unjust global markets, that in the face of dysfunctional national governments and a new default of sovereignty, it is their inherent right to assume the responsibilities of common governance necessary to sustaining their citizens. To do this, they must avail themselves of the legion of urban networks from the UCLG and the C40 to Metropolis, CityNet and the World Cities Summit already in play. But they must also forge new institutions to assure their common and global interests.” (5.)

Here are 12 steps you can take in your hometown
1. Make your community part of The Movement
Work to make your city / metro region united and strong by making the wheels of government turn for US, the 99.9%, then work with other regions globally to resolve common challenges. Explains Dr. Benjamin Barber, the “Devolution to cities is both policy and fact. It is happening and is increasingly being embraced by governments desperate to see action in a world paralyzed by ideology and cant.” 
3. Work locally to repeal three, Bill of Rights busting laws: 
(Yes, Congress repealed the Patriot Act. But it was in name only. Now we must work to revise the Freedom Act.) 
4. Establish a Constitution Protection Zone in your city or town.
6. Work locally to abolish the CIA
8. Work locally to adopt a Robin Hood tax.
10. Work locally to retrieve the trillions of dollars now being expended through the "Deep Black Ops Budget" and put it to use serving the needs of the people by creating decent paying employment and returning the billions of dollars stolen from the 99.9% during Depression.2.
11. Create a state bank in your state, e.g. North Dakota State Bank and use “crowdfunding” resources rather than international banks to help fund your new businesses.
12. Establish a monthly forum to discuss The Movement and reach out to your neighbors and friends.

The Movement

2. “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More,” Deborah Hardoon, Senior Researcher, Oxfam GB; 19 Jan 2015. Go here for a summary statement or here for a PDF of the Oxfam Issue Briefing.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Life, Liberty, Happiness… *

They are the natural rights; the inalienable rights which can not be taken away from or given away by any human being; rights not given by governments, dictators, clergy or royalty. They are the rights which everyone has from birth:
the right to life,
the right to liberty,
and the right to pursue happiness.

Motivated by the dream of the three natural rights, people, worldwide, have fought countless rebellions, revolutions and world wars.

But it appears to no avail as our governments and global corporations have actively conspired - in secrecy - to strip away our natural rights.

With the most recent sellout by the congress and the president, the global corporations are gloating over their accomplishment, the passage of the Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority) into law.

Why is Fast Track and the TPP Poison for People Everywhere?

The Fast Track law allows the backers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to bypass congressional and public review of trade partners, terms and objectives of the TPP trade agreement. In essence, it pre-approved TPP before anyone even knows what is in it and without congress saying in advance what should be in it.

From the little bitty bits of information which have managed to see the light of day, the TPP ensures that the laws of national governments will be trumped by a global corporate addiction to profit at any cost. With the TPP passed into law, human beings throughout the world will lose their national and local government protections against corporate exploitation.

For example, under the TPP, corporations may sue federal, state and local governments for loss of future profit if local laws forbid them from destroying our environment, polluting our water, charging usurious rates, or delivering defective products. We, the people, will have no legal defense under our own federal, state or local laws.

Worse, the TPP establishes a precedence of secrecy because it was passed by our own representatives, who themselves were sworn to secrecy so as not to share with us, the people, a single word of the treaty’s contents. Our president, senators and representatives - trashing their sworn oath to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States – sold out their own people for the benefit of the ruling 1% who own the global corporations.

They expect us to passively pay no attention to the most heinous crime ever perpetrated upon humanity - the attempted obliteration of our natural rights.

What will it take to meet the challenges of the corporate-controlled world?

Next post…

The Movement
An Antidote for Our Corporate Controlled World

* Matt Damon reads excerpts from a speech Howard Zinn gave in 1970 as part of a debate on civil disobedience.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Secret Means Bad Times for the People

When governments conduct the peoples’ business in secret expect bad times.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

“Don’t Know Much About History…” *

O.K. I know many of us absolutely hated history class. In fact, given a fire, many would feed it history books.

However, it is well known, that doing a little research into the past to uncover how our ancestors solved their challenges can have certain benefits today. Benefits like avoiding the plethora of camouflaged traps which are patiently waiting or us to ignorantly stumble into.

One of these is the debt trap.

Dealing with the debt trap goes back at least to ancient Mesopotamia, around 2400 BC, when King Hammurabi declared debt forgiveness under certain circumstances. In fact, “Historians have counted around thirty episodes of general debt cancellations from 2400 to 1400 BC, noting they were occasions of great festivity which often involved the physical destruction of the tablets on which liabilities were recorded.” (1.)

Our ancestors learned long ago that debt relief or debt cancellation was the best ladder up and out of the debt trap for citizens as well as for countries. 

Impossible sovereign debt has been repeatedly forgiven throughout history. For relatively recent examples, one need only look to the 1934 debt relief agreements (see chart below) and 1947-1953 agreements through which Greece as well as other nations forgave German debt after WWII (see below).

In the USA we should forgive the mountains of personal debt, as well as student debt, which accumulated prior to and since Depression.2 (2008). After all, the government did bailout the banksters. We should compel our government to declare debt relief in order to help the millions of citizens who were defrauded.

We are not talking about missing a few credit card payments or missing the mortgage or car payments, or even the local property tax - all of which in the USA will cost you your home and whatever home equity you previously had, your car, plus condemn you and your children to a life of misery as untouchable vagrants.

Rather, we are talking here about stifling, suffocating, overwhelming, impossible-to-repay debt, like the debt which the European Commission (Eurogroup), the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, otherwise known as “the Troika’, has compelled the Greeks to suffer for the past five years and insists on condemning generations to come to suffer far into the future.

For those who believe the inability to pay outrageous debt is some moral failure, or “character flaw”, I suggest that they simply don’t understand how the world works today and how it has always worked.

I'm sure you have noticed, as I have, that some people are simply coin-operated and driven to accumulate all the wealth they can through any means legal or illegal.

Most others are just not wealth-accumulation-oriented or are simply naïve. The coin-operated people see this majority as low-hanging-fruit for the taking because they “deserve” to be fleeced. Otherwise, from their demented perspective, the majority would be just like them, pilfering the last doubloon from the poor and homeless.

In my experience, the coin-operated people seem to include a great number of psychopaths, crooks and other types of “banksters”.

In the USA, we once had laws prohibiting various forms of usury. Now that we don’t, we all have become chum for the financial sharks. For those with eyes willing to see, it is painfully obvious that our world must have laws (which are enforced) to protect the majority, the 99.9%, against these predators.

While employed, many people in the USA believe they are above the less than human scum debtors (or, debtor nations, such as Greece) because at this moment in time they can pay their outrageous credit card debts, for instance, while the debtors have defaulted.

But their time will come, too, when they can not. Then they will become chum just like the Greeks.

They, too, will learn a harsh financial lesson: if the "loan" is impossible to pay back... no matter how long you live or how much you make... well then, it's not debt. It's debt slavery.

At the end of WWI, European nations were in a depression and seriously in debt. From 1932-1939, the governments “had a significant portion of their liabilities written-off for good”. “The average debt relief amounted to 19pc of national output in advanced economies, according to economists Carmen Reinhart and Christoph Tresbech. For the likes of France and Greece, the jubilees were closer to 50pc and 40pc of GDP respectively. Full repayment was so rare, that Finland was the sole European sovereign who managed to honor all its post-war obligations.”

German Economic Miracle Rooted in Debt Relief After WWII

“Following the end of WWII, the London Debt Agreement of 1953 saw the abolition of all of Germany's external debt. The total forgiveness amounted to around 280pc of GDP from 1947-53, according to historian Albrecht Ritschl.”

“The cancellation, along with an extension of its repayment schedule, allowed Germany to return to the financial markets, and become part of the IMF and World Bank.”

“The London agreement also helped set in motion the country's incredible export performance as Germany was required to service its debt through money earned from foreign trade.”

“In the words of historian Ursula Rombeck-Jaschinski, Germany's ‘economic miracle would have been impossible without the debt agreement.’” (1.)

* “Wonderful World" (“Don’t Know Much About History”) by Sam Cook, 1960, composed by Sam Cook, Lou Adler and Herb Alpert.

1. “The biggest debt write-offs in the history of the world”, Mehreen Khan, 2 Feb 2015, The Telegraph.
In addition to the citations noted above, the author points out: “In Jewish Mosaic Law, every seventh Sabbath year saw the wiping away of all debts, where creditors cancelled all the obligations of their fellow Israelites. Every 49th year (seven Sabbath years) was the 'Year of the Jubilee' when freedom from all debt and servitude was proclaimed throughout the land.”

For this particular post, my intent was to remain “secular” and try to direct the reader’s attention to the historic reasons that debt forgiveness has made good economic sense and really has nothing to do with being a forgiving Christian or Jew.

However, I found it interesting that the author references the Lord’s Prayer… “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. I had never thought of those words from an economic perspective. But, the author pointed to the historic religious philosophical thinking that everything was created by God, hence everything belongs to Him and charging interest on God’s “creations” was immoral. It is that philosophy which is the root of the ancient Jewish tradition of forgiving debt every seven years. “Unlike modern notions of debtor distress, where default is seen as the result of profligacy or misfortune on the part of the borrower, Judeo-Christian traditions rested on the principle that both creditors and debtors had a duty towards God.”

In Matthew 18:27, the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, and again in Luke 7:41-43, the Parable of Forgiven the Greater Debt, Christ discussed debt forgiveness.

Finally, now that I have written this, I have come to the conclusion that one can't separate the "secular" economics of debt forgiveness from the "moral and ethical" issues related to usury and avarice. In the end it does come down to who we are as people and what we believe and practice in our daily lives. Shall we continue to allow corporations, banks and governments to financially “rape” human beings around the world? Is not time to end this lunacy once and for all?